Rosemary officinalis: In Latin, ros means “dew,” and marinus “sea” or “Dew or Mist of the Sea. Officinalis means that it is official, medicinal, recognized in the pharmacopoeia.
During Victorian Times, the “Language of Flowers” meaning for rosemary was remembrance. This association dates from ancient times when rosemary was recommended as a remedy for forgetfulness. In ancient Greece, it is said that students wore wreaths of rosemary to energize their minds. At some Victorian weddings, a bride would wear a sprig of rosemary to show that she carried with her loving memories of her old home to her new one. In France, the Victorian meaning was “Your presence revives me,” perhaps because the strong, sharp smell seems to stimulate the senses.
During the Middle Ages, rosemary would be grown in several pots, each pot named with a potential lover. The answer would be the plant that grew the fastest and strongest. Poppets (cloth dolls) would be stuffed with rosemary to attract a new lover. Another folklore tidbit – rosemary will repel nightmares and ensure a good night’s sleep.